BoI: Banks Must Take Care of Retail Customers

YERUSHALAYIM -
The Bank of Israel head office in Yerushalayim. (Flash90)
Bank of Israel headquarters in Yerushalayim. (Flash90)

Bank of Israel (BoI) is demanding that banks present alternatives for their customers before closing branches or teller desks, Globes reported. This demand comes in the wake of the closure of dozens of branches in recent months, as banks attempt to shift customer banking habits from retail branches to online banking.

A law recently passed by the Knesset requires that banks submit any changes in their retail structure before the Supervisor of Banking; BoI’s instruction is the actualization of this law.

“The new instructions urge banks to keep their customers’ needs paramount in the decision to open or close branches, and that is the criteria the Bank of Israel will follow,” the Bank said in a statement. “The purpose of these instructions is to ensure that the technological revolution that has now arrived in the banking industry will impact customers in a positive way, and to ensure that customers are taken care of in the event of the closure of a branch.”

BoI expects the recent trend of branch closures to continue, it said. “Our focus, as we decide whether or not to approve a closure, will be the convenience of customers and the assistance they will be offered during the transition period,” BoI’s statement added.